Press Release
October 31, 2011


Director-General Irina Bokova of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) commended the Philippines for its dynamic work in education at the sidelines of the General Conference in Paris.

In a meeting with Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, head of the Philippine delegation to the 36th Session of the UNESCO General Conference, Bokova lauded the Philippines' work in UNESCO's core areas of concern and expertise, particularly education for sustainable development.

"The Philippines is moving towards change and reform in its education sector," Angara told Bokova.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, apprised Bokova of continuing efforts to overhaul the educational system, starting from early childhood learning to higher education.

Angara authored and sponsored the Early Years Act, a measure passed by Congress which will promote learning from 0-6 years, and the Kindergarten Act, which will make kindergarten mandatory.

He also mentioned that the government is laying the groundwork for the full implementation of the K-to-12 program, which will add two more years to the 10-year basic education cycle, by 2016.

Angara underscored other reforms namely: improving the curriculum and enforcing stricter standards for higher education institutions to enhance the quality of graduates across the board; funding scholarships for teacher educators in all Normal Schools and Universities in the country to boost the quality of instruction; and bringing together government, academe and industry in a highly collaborative program to generate innovation for national needs.

In addition, the Philippines established the Southeast Asian Center for Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA-CLLSD), a Category 2 center under the auspices of UNESCO,

which will lead regional cooperation in making adult education more accessible.

"UNESCO recognizes our efforts to bring our educational system on a par with the best in the world," said Angara. "This is a great encouragement--a clear sign that we are moving toward the right direction.

"We must not let up on reforms now, only intensify it further and do our share toward attaining the universal goal of promoting education for all and lifelong learning," he added.

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